Rod Layman

Born: Sun., Dec. 16, 1934
Died: Sat., Oct. 27, 2018


6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Mon., Oct. 29, 2018
Location: Seagle Funeral Home

Memorial Service

2:00 PM Tue., Oct. 30, 2018
Location: First United Methodist Church

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Music by The Piano Brothers

T. Rodman (Rod) Layman, 83, of Pulaski, Va., passed away at Pulaski Rehabilitation Center on the morning of October 27, 2018 after a long struggle with diabetes.  Rod was born in Troutville, Virginia on December 16, 1934 to the late John Cline and Elsie Montgomery Layman.   He spent his younger years in Rockbridge County, in the Brownsburg and Raphine areas, before spending most of his childhood in Blacksburg.  He was a track and cross-country star at Blacksburg High School and also ran track and cross-country while majoring in history at Bridgewater College, where he graduated in 1956.  Rod went on to serve briefly in the U.S. Army, to earn a Master’s degree in political science at Indiana University and to attend law school at the College of William and Mary and the University of Richmond, earning his J.D. from Richmond.  After law school, he taught government at Virginia Tech for a short time before embarking on a career in law and politics.  He joined the Crowell-Nuckols law firm (now Crowell, Nuckols, Layman, and Aust) in the early 1960s and served as a U.S. District Attorney in Roanoke (including a brief stint in San Juan, Puerto Rico) in the late 1960s.   A lifelong Republican, Rod ran for the Virginia Senate in 1967 and for the Virginia House of Delegates in 1969, losing very close races at a time when Virginia remained a one-party Democratic state in which Republicans virtually never won.  


Rod’s forays into electoral politics came to an end in 1969, but his career in Virginia state government began just after as he was appointed chairman of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.  He served on the Commission until 1980, when he was appointed as Secretary of Public Safety in Governor John Dalton’s cabinet.  While in Richmond, he also served as the President of the Virginia JCI Senate, an organization of notable former Jaycees.  After the Republican Party’s defeat in the 1981 gubernatorial election, Rod returned to Pulaski to practice law. 


Rod married Barbara “Tinky” Hilton of Pulaski at Memorial Baptist Church in Pulaski in 1964.  They had two sons, Geoff and Matt.  In Pulaski, he was a devoted member of First United Methodist Church, where he sang in the choir, taught Sunday School, and served as a lay leader for several decades.  He also was active in political and civic life as a former chair of the Pulaski County Republican Party and a member of the Pulaski County Hokie Club, the Pulaski County Touchdown Club, and the Rotary Club of Pulaski.  Rod was an avid tennis player and attended nearly every Pulaski Yankees home game in recent years.


A lifelong fan and benefactor of Virginia Tech, Rod was appointed by Governor George Allen to the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors in 1995 and served two terms on the Board, from 1995-1999 and from 2001-2004.  A devoted Hokie fan, Rod was a longtime member of the Hokie Club, reaching “Golden Hokie” status in recent decades, and a longtime Tech football and basketball season ticket holder.  His goal was to attend 30 Tech bowl games before he passed.  He nearly reached it, attending 26 bowl games and all but two of the bowl games during the “Beamer Bowl” era since 1993.


In addition to his parents, Rod was preceded in death by his brother John William Layman.  He is survived by Tinky, his wife of nearly 54 years, his two sons Geoff and Matt, his sister Margaret Ellen (Layman) Forte, his two daughters-in-law, Amy and Heather Layman, and five grandchildren: Caroline, Chris, Grace, Kate, and Shannon.  The family will greet friends at Seagle Funeral Home in Pulaski from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, October 29, 2018.  Memorial services for Rod will be held at First United Methodist Church in Pulaski on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 2:00 p.m..  He will be laid to rest at the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the First United Methodist Church 135 Fourth Street, N.W. Pulaski, VA 24301 or to the Virginia Tech Foundation 902 Prices Fork Road #140 Blacksburg, VA 24060.  

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Clyde and Nathalie Givens
   Posted Sun October 28, 2018
Our deepest sympathy to Tinky and family. Wish we could come to the viewing and service but due to health problems it is not possible.

Rodman was a part of my life for almost 84 years. I have many memories of him, John William and Margaret Ellen. Our mothers were very close since they were sisters and went to college together and then lived near each other in Blacksburg.

Again, our deepest sympathy and love.

C. S. and Nathalie

Trent Crewe
   Posted Mon October 29, 2018
Rod was a wonderful person, a great leader, and a fine lawyer. He will be missed. I talked to him at an education class just last week. He was still learning. May faith family and friends sustain & support you in these difficult days.

John Eric Layman & Terri Tishman
   Posted Mon October 29, 2018
We are were sad to hear of Uncle Rod's passing. He and Aunt Tinky meant so much to both of us! Please know we are thinking of you all in these difficult days. Over 50 years of marriage is impressive. Terri

Bob and Janet Lenhart
   Posted Mon October 29, 2018
So sad to hear this news. Our love and prayers are with you.

Terri Lenhart Snoots
   Posted Mon October 29, 2018
Tinky, I am so sorry to hear about Mr Laymen. I always loved the story of Matt and I’s birth bringing our family to Bon Air Christian church 44 years ago. Sending my Hokie love to your family as well.

Virgil and Brenda Thompson
   Posted Mon October 29, 2018
Our sympathy to Rod's family. We met Rod through our travels on bus trips with the Pulaski Hokie Club to see the Hokies play. He was always welcoming and fun loving. He will be missed.

Garnett Smith
   Posted Mon October 29, 2018
Dear Tinky,
I am so sorry for the tremendous loss of Rod. I will always remember what a great man he was and the great times that we shared as Jaycees. Please know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers in the days ahead. I hope that the wonderful memories of the life you shared will help to ease your pain. I am sorry that I can not be there to share in person my condolences.
Garnett Smith

Scott Woodcock
   Posted Tue October 30, 2018

MIXED FRUIT BASKET was sent by the HRMIS Team at US Courts.

We are sorry for your loss, Matt. We are thinking of you and your family during this difficult time. From your friends on the HRMIS Team at US Courts

Jacque Goodwin
   Posted Tue October 30, 2018
Matt - So sorry to hear about the loss of your father. From what I have heard you say about him, and what I read in the Obituary, he was an amazing man and will be missed by many. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Ramesh Manne
   Posted Tue October 30, 2018
Matt, Our deepest sympathy to your family.

Mary Melluzzo
   Posted Tue October 30, 2018
I am sorry for your loss, Matt. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Jane Carr
   Posted Tue October 30, 2018
"Tinky," I am so very sorry for your loss. May God's love surround you and your family to comfort you and to bring you peace. My prayers are with you, Jane Carr (DKG and District M VRTA)

Donald W. Huffman
   Posted Wed October 31, 2018
Dear Tinky: I was distressed to read of my friend Rob’s passing. As you well know, we had a long friendship as fellow activists in the Republican Party. We served together on the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors for several years. I, too, like Rob have season tickets to Virginia Tech football and basketball. At most home basketball games I greeted Rob. It was so refreshing to take a few minutes to chat with him. I will miss my friend. I wish you the best in your bereavement.

Linda Williams
   Posted Sat November 17, 2018
I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I have found comfort from this scripture at
Psalm 34:18, "Jehovah is near to those that are broken at heart; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.”

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